September 2019 WAP E-News

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WAP E-News: September 2019

In This Issue
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Upcoming Events and Important Dates

Tuesday, September 17: 4:30 - 7:00 PM
Fire Council Field Tour
Falls Creek Ranch Entrance, 6350 Falls Creek Main Durango, CO 81301

Wednesday, September 18: 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Community Meeting on Fire Adapted Durango Plan
Community Recreation Center, 2700 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301

Friday, September 20: 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Weber Canyon Field Tour
Cox Conoco, 201 Railroad Ave., Mancos, CO 81328

Wednesday, October 2: 1:30 - 3:30 PM
Dolores Watershed Resilient Forest (DWRF) Collaborative Meeting
Dolores Water Conservancy District, 60 Cactus St., Cortez, CO 81321

Tuesday, October 8: 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Montezuma WAP Meeting
Mancos Public Library, 211 E. 1st St., Mancos, CO 81328
 

Chipper Rental Rebate Program

We are extending the Chipper Rental Rebate program into October, as long as funding allows, for Southwest Colorado residents who are interested in chipping the slash from reducing flammable vegetation.
 
If you or your community are interested, submit an application for a rebate up to $250 for individuals or $750 for HOAs! Click the link below for more information.
Chipper Rebate Application
Wildfire Mitigation Tax Credit

Did you know that you may be able to claim a subtraction on your Colorado income tax return for certain expenses related to wildfire mitigation on your property? To learn more about which costs qualify and the current subtraction amounts, view this link or visit colorado.gov.
TREX Assisting with Prescribed Burns Underway in the San Juan Mountains
The San Juan Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) is officially underway! Around 30 fire professionals from across the US and local communities are in southwest Colorado to conduct prescribed burns in partnership with the San Juan National Forest, practice fire management skills and gain new fire certifications while improving the health of our forests.

While our communities experienced the negative impacts of wildfire during the 416 Fire in 2018, these prescribed fires are intended to produce positive benefits for land and people by reducing fuels near communities, improving wildlife habitat, and reducing tree and shrub density, thereby promoting healthier forests. Shared stewardship of our forests requires increasing coordination and training across fire and forest-management entities. A primary goal of the TREX is to increase local capacity, knowledge and skills for prescribed fires by providing fire training and creating new relationships and trust among participating groups.

For firefighters, TREX is a collaborative environment designed to enhance the sharing of experience and learning across agencies as well as seeing first-hand how low- to moderate-intensity fire can restore forests and create safer conditions for communities. Preparing our forests for fire is no easy task. In a typical day, TREX participants wake by 6 am, eat breakfast and prepare their personal protective equipment (PPE), tools, chainsaws, and engines before joining Forest Service and local fire professionals on the burn site. To determine if conditions that day are acceptable to burn, the Burn Boss (the individual in charge of the burn) reviews the burn plan – a comprehensive document that sets the parameters and requirements under which a burn may be conducted and which can take a year or more to prepare. If conditions are favorable, fire practitioners use natural and previously constructed fire lines - roads, streams, or paths – to contain the fire within the pre-designated area called the “burn unit”. Crews walk on foot with hand tools and use engines and ATVs to continuously patrol and ensure that fire does not spread beyond this boundary. Designated crew members often use devices called “drip torches” to ignite the leaf and pine needle litter that carries the fire. Depending on the number of acres to be burned the process may take one to several days to complete and the crew will monitor and patrol the unit for days afterwards to ensure all fire stays within the burn unit. The weather is continuously monitored during this entire period and fire managers communicate frequently with experts at the National Weather Service and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which regulates smoke emissions in the state.

Throughout this two-week TREX, most participants will complete specific tasks in a “task book” in order to earn new fire qualifications and advance their skills. Participants will also tour completed burns, talk with local ecology and forestry experts, and learn from the diverse experiences of other TREX participants. Participants will take the skills and knowledge they gain here back to their home regions in Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, Idaho, Utah, and California, thereby strengthening fire management programs and practices across a wider area than just southwest Colorado.

So far, burns have been conducted by the San Juan National Forest near Bayfield and Pagosa Springs. TREX participants are also assisting the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with a prescribed burn near Dove Creek, CO. Before the program ends on September 24th, TREX participants hope to assist with additional prescribed burns in these areas if weather and other conditions are favorable.

A relatively new model to this region, the The Nature Conservancy’s TREX program was started in 2008 to fill a need for more professionals and private individuals trained in prescribed fire. TREX and similar cooperative burn efforts have previously occurred in southeast Colorado and across New Mexico. As our perceptions and practices around fire shift more toward proactive management and active burning, we need more people capable of conducting burns safely. In 2018, TREX programs in eight states burned more than 13,000 acres and trained more than 500 individuals in the safe and effective use of prescribed fire to benefit people, animals, forests, and grasslands across the nation.  

To learn more about prescribed fires, forest health, and the San Juan TREX please go to: sanjuanheadwaters.org.
Weber Canyon Field Tour

The Montezuma County Noxious Weed Department will be conducting an on-site field investigation of the noxious weed infestations resulting from the Weber Fire in 2012. Wildlife biologists, noxious weed specialists, the Fire Adapted Colorado Network, Mancos Conservation District, representatives from the Bureau of Land Management, and others will all be on-hand to answer questions and discuss the encroachment of invasive weeds after wildfire. 

This tour is open to the public and all interested parties are encouraged to attend! Please plan to meet at the Cox Conoco in Mancos (201 Railroad Ave.) at 9:00 AM on Friday, September 20th. If you have questions about the tour, please contact Bonnie Loving, Program Director for the MC Noxious Weed Department, at bloving@co.montezuma.co.us.
Agriculture Resiliency Before, During, and After Drought
Articles of Interest
 

Chip-and-Ship Forest Clearing May Help Prevent Wildfire Disasters

California's Biggest Wildfire of 2019 Approaches 50,000 Acres

Upper Pine Fire Protection District hosts 9/11 Stair Climb

Cortez Breaks 5 Heat Records; Durango Ties 4

Weeds and Fire Can Come Hand in Hand

Turkey Springs Prescribed Burn Expected to Last Several More Days

Multiple wildfires burning in Colorado

Did you know that you can contribute to WAP while shopping?! Register us as your charitable organization and Amazon Smile will donate a portion of their proceeds to us!

Be sure to log in via smileamazon.com each time you shop. Click the link below to get started. The best part is is that it is still Amazon, and Prime members still receive their benefits!


 

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